Original
The Online Conference for Process Servers. March 26th & 27th.
Early-bird registration available for a limited time.
The Trusted Network of Process Servers

Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure

Title § 8.01 Civil Remedies and Procedure

§ 8.01-285. Definition of certain terms

Definition of certain terms for purposes of this chapter; process, return, statutory agent. For the purposes of this chapter:

§ 8.01-286. Forms of writs.

Subject to the provisions of § 8.01-3, the Supreme Court may prescribe the forms of writs, and where no such prescription is made, the forms of writs shall be the same as heretofore used. (Code 1950, § 8-43; 1977, c. 617.)

§ 8.01-287. How process to be served.

Upon commencement of an action, process shall be served in the manner set forth in this chapter and by the Rules of the Supreme Court. (Code 1950, § 8-56; 1952, c. 77; 1954, c. 543; 1977, c. 617.)

§ 8.01-288. Process received in time good though neither served nor accepted.

Process received in time good though neither served nor accepted Except for process commencing actions for divorce or annulment of marriage or other actions wherein service of process is specifically prescribed by statute, process which has reached the person to whom it is directed within the time prescribed by law, if any, shall be sufficient although not served or accepted as provided in this chapter. (Code 1950, § 8-53; 1977, c. 617; 1987, c. 594; 1988, c. 583.)

§ 8.01-289. No service of process on Sunday; exceptions.

No civil process shall be served on Sunday, except in cases of persons escaping out of custody, or where it is otherwise expressly provided by law.

§ 8.01-290. Plaintiffs required to furnish full name and last known address of defendants, etc.

Upon the commencement of every action, the plaintiff shall furnish in writing to the clerk or other issuing officer the full name and last known address of each defendant and if unable to furnish such name and address, he shall furnish such salient facts as are calculated to identify with reasonable certainty such defendant. The clerk or other official whose function it is to issue any such process shall note in the record or in the papers the address or other identifying facts furnished. Failure to comply with the requirements of this section shall not affect the validity of any judgment. (Code 1950, § 8-46.1; 1962, c. 10; 1977, c. 617.)

§ 8.01-291. Copies to be made.

The clerk issuing any such process unless otherwise directed shall deliver or transmit therewith as many copies thereof as there are persons named therein on whom it is to be served. (Code 1950, § 8-57; 1977, c. 617.)

§ 8.01-292. To whom process directed and where executed.

Process from any court, whether original, mesne, or final, may be directed to the sheriff of, and may be executed in, any county, city, or town in the Commonwealth. (Code 1950, § 8-44; 1954, c. 333; 1977, c. 617.)

§ 8.01-293. Who to serve process.

(Code 1950, §§ 8-52, 8-54; 1954, c. 543; 1960 c. 16, 1968, c. 484, 1977, c. 617, 1981, c. 110, 1986, c. 275; 1996, cc. 501, 608: 1997, c. 820.)

Case Note: Where nothing in the record established that process server was qualified to serve process under Virginia’s procedural requirements, service of process was invalid, and the court did not acquire personal jurisdiction over defendant. Harrel v. Preston, 15 Va.App. 202, 421 S.E.2d 676 (1992).

§ 8.01-294. Sheriff to get from clerk’s office process and other papers; return of papers.

Every sheriff who attends a court shall, every day when the clerk’s office is open for business, go to such office and receive all process, and other papers to be served by him, and give receipts therefor, unless he has received notice from a regular employee of the clerk’s office that there are no such papers requiring service and shall return all papers within seventy-two hours of service, except when such returns would be due on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. In such case, the return is due on the next day following such Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. (Code 1950, § 8-49; 1954, c. 545; 1977, c. 617; 1978, c. 831.)

§ 8.01-295. Territorial limits within which sheriff may serve process in his official capacity;

Territorial limits within which sheriff may serve process in his official capacity; process appearing to be duly served. The sheriff may execute such process throughout the political subdivision in which he serves and in any contiguous county or city. If the process appears to be duly served, and is good in other respects, it shall be deemed valid although not directed to an officer, or if directed to any officer, though executed by some other person. This section shall not be construed to require the sheriff to serve such process in any jurisdiction other than in his own. (Code 1950, § 8-50; 1977, c. 617; 1982, c. 674.)

§ 8.01-296. Manner of serving process upon natural persons.

In any action at law or in equity or any other civil proceeding in any court, process, for which no particular mode of service is prescribed, may be served upon natural persons as follows:

(Code 1950, § 8-51; 1954, c. 333; 1977, c. 617; 1989, cc. 518, 524; 1990, cc. 729, 767; 1996, c. 538.)

§ 8.01-297. Process on convict defendant.

In all actions against one who has been convicted of a felony and is confined in a local or regional jail or State correctional institution, process shall be served on such convict and, subject to § 8.01-9, a guardian ad litem shall be appointed for him. Such service may be effected by delivery to the officer in charge of such jail or institution whose duty it shall be to deliver forthwith such process to the convict. (Code 1950, § 8-55; 1954, c. 543; 1977, c. 617.)

§ 8.01-299. How process served on domestic corporations generally.

Except as prescribed in § 8.01-300 as to municipal and quasi-governmental corporations, process may be served on a corporation created by the laws of this State as follows:

(Code 1950, § 8-59; 1954, c. 23; 1956, c. 432; 1958, c. 13; 1976, c. 395; 1977, c. 617; 1991, c. 672.)

§ 8.01-300. How process served on municipal and county governments

How process served on municipal and county governments and on quasi-governmental entities. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 8.01-299 for service of process on other domestic corporations, process shall be served on municipal and county governments and quasi-governmental bodies or agencies in the following manner:

Service under this section may be made by leaving a copy with the person in charge of the office of any officer designated in subdivisions 1 through 4. (Code 1950, § 8-59; 1954, c. 23; 1956, c. 432; 1958, c. 13; 1976, c. 395; 1977, c. 617; 1980, c. 732; 1985, c. 416.)

§ 8.01-301. How process served on foreign corporations generally.

Service of process on a foreign corporation may be effected in the following manner:

(Code 1950, § 8-60; 1977, c. 617; 1991, c. 672.)

§ 8.01-302. Service of certain process on foreign or domestic corporations.

In addition to other provisions of this chapter for service on corporations, process in attachment or garnishment proceedings, and notice by a creditor of judgment obtained and execution thereon issued in his favor, may be served on any agent of a foreign or domestic corporation wherever such agent may be found within the Commonwealth. Service so made shall constitute sufficient service upon such corporation; provided that notice of judgment obtained and execution issued shall comply in all respects to the provisions of §§ 8.01-502, 8.01-503 and 8.01-504. (Code 1950, § 8-63; 1977, c. 617.)

§ 8.01-303. On whom process served when corporation operated by trustee or receiver.

When any corporation is operated by a trustee or by a receiver appointed by any court, in any action against such corporation, process may be served on its trustee or receiver; and if there be more than one such trustee or receiver, then service may be on any one of them. In the event that no service of process may be had on any such trustee or receiver, then process may be served by any other mode of service upon corporations authorized by this chapter. (Code 1950, § 8-64; 1977, c. 617.)

§ 8.01-304. How process served on copartner or partnership.

Process against a copartner or partnership may be served upon a general partner, and it shall be deemed service upon the partnership and upon each partner individually named in the action, provided the person served is not a plaintiff in the suit and provided the matter in suit is a partnership matter. Provided further that process may be served upon a limited partner in any proceeding to enforce a limited partner’s liability to the partnership. (Code 1950, § 8-59.1; 1950, p. 455; 1977, c. 617.)

§ 8.01-305. Process against unincorporated associations or orders, or unincorporated common carriers.

Process against an unincorporated (i) association, (ii) order, or (iii) common carrier, may be served on any officer, trustee, director, staff member or other agent. (Code 1950, §§ 8-66, 8-67; 1962, c. 250; 1977, c. 617.)

§ 8.01-306. Process against unincorporated associations or orders, or unincorporated common carriers; principal office outside Virginia and business transactions in Virginia.

If an unincorporated (i) association, (ii) order, or (iii) common carrier has its principal office outside Virginia and transacts business or affairs in the Commonwealth, process may be served on any officer, trustee, director, staff member, or agent of such association, order, or carrier in the city or county in which he may be found or on the clerk of the State Corporation Commission, who shall be deemed by virtue of such transaction of business or affairs in the Commonwealth to have been appointed statutory agent of such association, order, or carrier upon whom may be made service of process in accordance with § 12.1-19.1. Service, when duly made, shall constitute sufficient foundation for a personal judgment against such association, order or carrier. If service may not be had as aforesaid, then on affidavit of that fact an order of publication may be awarded as provided by §§ 8.01-316 and 8.01-317. (Code 1950, § 8-66.1; 1962, c. 250; 1977, c. 617; 1991, c. 672.)

§ 8.01-307. Definition of terms “motor vehicle” and “nonresident” in motor vehicle and aircraft accident cases.

For the purpose of §§ 8.01-308 through 8.01-313: (Code 1950, § 8-66.1; 1962, c. 250; 1977, c. 617; 1991, c. 672.)

(Code 1950, § 8-67.1; 1950, p. 620; 1952, c. 681; 1956, c. 64; 1966, c. 518; 1977, c. 617.)

§ 8.01-307. Definition of terms “motor vehicle” and “nonresident” in motor vehicle and aircraft accident cases.

For the purpose of §§ 8.01-308 through 8.01-313: (Code 1950, § 8-66.1; 1962, c. 250; 1977, c. 617; 1991, c. 672.)

§ 8.01-308. Service on Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles as agent for nonresident motor vehicle operator.

Any operation in the Commonwealth of a motor vehicle by a nonresident, including those nonresidents defined in subdivision 2 of § 8.01-307, either in person or by an agent or employee, shall be deemed equivalent to an appointment by such nonresident of the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles, and his successors in office, to be the attorney or statutory agent of such nonresident for the purpose of service of process in any action against him growing out of any accident or collision in which such nonresident, his agent, or his employee may be involved while operating motor vehicles in this Commonwealth. Acceptance by a nonresident of the rights and privileges conferred by Article 5 (§ 46.2-655 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 46.2 shall have the same effect under this section as the operation of such motor vehicle, by such nonresident, his agent, or his employee. (Code 1950, § 8-67.1; 1950, p. 620; 1952, c. 681; 1956, c. 64; 1966, c. 518; 1977, c. 617.)

§ 8.01-309. Service on Secretary of Commonwealth as agent of nonresident operator or owner of aircraft.

Any nonresident owner or operator of any aircraft that is operated over and above the land and waters of the Commonwealth or uses aviation facilities within the Commonwealth, shall by such operation and use appoint the Secretary of the Commonwealth as his statutory agent for the service of process in any action against him growing out of any accident or collision occurring within or above the Commonwealth in which such aircraft is involved. (Code 1950, § 8-67.4; 1952, c. 384; 1954, c. 333; 1977, c. 617.)

§ 8.01-310. How service made on Commissioner and Secretary; appointment binding.

(Code 1950, §§ 8-67.2, 8-67.4; 1952, c. 384; 1954, c. 333; 1970, c. 680; 1972, c. 408; 1976, c. 26; 1977, c. 617; 1987, c. 696; 1992, c. 459; 2000, c. 579.)

§ 8.01-311. Continuance of action where service made on Commissioner or Secretary.

The court, in which an action is pending against a nonresident growing out of an accident or collision as specified in §§ 8.01-308 and 8.01-309, may order such continuances as necessary to afford such nonresident reasonable opportunity to defend the action. (Code 1950, § 8-67.3; 1954, c. 547; 1977, c. 617.)

§ 8.01-312. Effect of service on statutory agent; duties of such agent.

(Code 1950, § 8-67.2; 1954, c. 333; 1970, c. 680; 1972, c. 408; 1976, c. 26; 1977, c. 617.)

§ 8.01-313. Specific addresses for mailing by statutory agent.

(Code 1950, § 8-67.2; 1954, c. 333; 1970, c. 680; 1972, c. 408; 1976, c. 26; 1977, c. 617; 1983, c. 467; 1984, c. 780; 1991, c. 672.)

§ 8.01-314. Service on attorney after entry of general appearance by such attorney.

When an attorney authorized to practice law in this Commonwealth has entered a general appearance for any party, any process, order or other legal papers to be used in the proceeding may be served on such attorney of record. Such service shall have the same effect as if service had been made upon such party personally; provided, however, that in any proceeding in which a final decree or order has been entered, service on an attorney as provided herein shall not be sufficient to constitute personal jurisdiction over a party in any proceeding citing that party for contempt, either civil or criminal, unless personal service is also made on the party. Provided, further, that if such attorney objects by motion within five days after such legal paper has been so served upon him, the court shall enter an order in the proceeding directing the manner of service of such legal paper. (Code 1950, § 8-69; 1977, c. 617; 1981, c. 495.)

§ 8.01-315. Notice to be mailed defendant when service accepted by another.

No judgment shall be rendered upon, or by virtue of, any instrument in writing authorizing the acceptance of service of process by another on behalf of any person who is obligated upon such instrument, when such service is accepted as therein authorized, unless the person accepting service shall have made and filed with the court an affidavit showing that he mailed or caused to be mailed to the defendant at his last known post-office address at least ten days before such judgment is to be rendered a notice stating the time when and place where the entry of such judgment would be requested. (Code 1950, § 8-70; 1977, c. 617.)

§ 8.01-316. Service by publication; when available.

Under subdivisions 1 and 2 of this section, the order of publication may be entered by the clerk of the court. Under this subdivision such order may be entered only by the court.

Every affidavit for an order of publication shall state the last known post office address of the party against whom publication is asked, or if such address is unknown, the affidavit shall state that fact.

§ 8.01-317. What order of publication to state; how published; when publication in newspaper dispensed with.

Except in condemnation actions, every order of publication shall give the abbreviated style of the suit, state briefly its object, and require the defendants, or unknown parties, against whom it is entered to appear and protect their interests on or before the date stated in the order which shall be no sooner than fifty days after entry of the order of publication. Such order of publication shall be published once each week for four successive weeks in such newspaper as the court may prescribe, or, if none be so prescribed, as the clerk may direct, and shall be posted at the front door of the courthouse wherein the court is held also a copy of such order of publication shall be mailed to each of the defendants at the post office address given in the affidavit required by § 8.01-316. The clerk shall cause copies of the order to be so posted, mailed, and transmitted to the designated newspaper within twenty days after the entry of the order of publication. Upon completion of such publication, the clerk shall file a certificate in the papers of the case that the requirements of this section have been complied with. Provided, the court may, in any case where deemed proper dispense with such publication in a newspaper. The cost of such publication shall be paid by the petitioner or applicant. (Code 1950, § 8-72; 1977, c. 617; 1982, c. 384; 1996, cc. 352, 710.)

§ 8.01-318. Within what time after publication case tried or heard; no subsequent publication required.

If after an order of publication has been executed, the defendants or unknown parties against whom it is entered shall not appear on or before the date specified in such order, the case may be tried or heard as to them. When the provisions of § 8.01-317, or, if applicable, the provisions of § 8.01-321, have been complied with, no other publication or notice shall thereafter be required in any proceeding in court, or before a commissioner, or for the purpose of taking depositions, unless specifically ordered by the court as to such defendants or unknown parties. (Code 1950, § 8-73; 1968, c. 456; 1977, c. 617.)

§ 8.01-319. Publication of interim notice.

(Code 1950, § 8-76; 1950, p. 68; 1954, c. 333; 1960, c. 16; 1970, cc. 241, 279; 1977, c. 617; 1978, c. 676; 1979, c. 464; 1982, c. 384.)

§ 8.01-320. Personal service outside of Virginia.

(Code 1950, § 8-74; 1954, c. 333; 1970, c. 552; 1977, c. 617; 1978, c. 90; 1981, c. 6; 1983, c. 402; 1984, c. 18; 1985, c. 177; 1986, c. 263; 1987, c. 594; 1997, c. 754.)

§ 8.01-322. Within what time case reheard on petition of party served by publication, and any injustice corrected.

If a party against whom service by publication is had under this chapter did not appear before the date of judgment against him, then such party or his representative may petition to have the case reheard, may plead or answer, and may have any injustice in the proceeding corrected within the following time and not after:

For the purpose of subdivision 2 of this section, service may be made in any manner provided in this chapter except by order of publication, but including personal or substituted service on the party to be served, and personal service out of the Commonwealth by any person of eighteen years or older and who is not a party or otherwise interested in the subject matter in controversy. (Code 1950, § 8-78; 1977, c. 617.)

§ 8.01-325. Return by person serving process.

Unless otherwise directed by the court, the person serving process shall make return thereof to the clerk’s office within seventy-two hours of service, except when such return would be due on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. In such case, the return is due on the next day following such Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. The process shall state thereon the date and manner of service and the name of the party served. Proof of service shall be in the following manner:

(Code 1950, §§ 8-52, 8-329; 1977, c. 617; 1996, c. 538.)

Case Note: Where nothing in the record established that process server was qualified to serve process under Virginia’s procedural requirements, service of process was invalid, and the court did not acquire personal jurisdiction over defendant. Harrel v. Preston, 15 Va.App. 202, 421 S.E.2d 676 (1992).

§ 8.01-326. Return as proof of service.

No return shall be conclusive proof as to service of process. The return of a sheriff shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated, and the return of a qualified individual under subdivision 2 of § 8.01-293 shall be evidence of the facts stated therein. (1977, c. 627.)

§ 8.01-326.1. Service of process or notice on statutory agent;

copy to be sent to defendant and certificate filed with court; effective date of service. Any statutory agent who has been served with process or notice shall forthwith mail a copy of such process or notice to the person or persons to be served at the last known post office address of such person and file a certificate of compliance with the papers in the action. Service of process or notice on a statutory agent shall be effective as of the date the certificate of compliance is filed with the clerk of the court in which the action or suit is pending. (1990, c. 741.)

§ 8.01-327. Acceptance of service of process.

Service of process may be accepted by the person for whom it is intended by signing the proof of service and indicating the jurisdiction and state in which it was accepted. However, service of process in divorce or annulment actions may be accepted only as provided in § 20-99.1:1. (1977, c. 617; 1987, c. 594; 1988, cc. 583, 642.)

§ 8.01-329. Service of process or notice; service on Secretary of Commonwealth.

(Code 1950, § 8-813; 1977, c. 617; 1979, c. 31; 1986, c. 388; 1987, cc. 449, 450, 459; 1990, c. 741; 1998, c. 259.)

VA Rules: Rules of Supreme Court of Virginia

Rule 3A:12. Subpoena. No subpoena or subpoena duces tecum shall be issued in any criminal case or proceeding, including any proceeding before any grand jury, which subpoena or subpoena duces tecum is (i) directed to a member of the bar of this Commonwealth or any other jurisdiction, and (ii) compels production or testimony concerning any present or former client of the member of the bar, unless the subpoena request has been approved in all specifics, in advance, by a judge of the circuit court wherein the subpoena is requested after reasonable notice to the attorney who is the subject of the proposed subpoena. The proceedings for approval may be conducted in camera, in the judge’s discretion, and the judge may seal such proceedings. Such subpoena request shall be made by the Commonwealth’s attorney for the jurisdiction involved, either on motion of the Commonwealth’s attorney or upon request to the Commonwealth’s attorney by the foreman of any grand jury.

Any subpoenaed writings and objects, regardless by whom requested, shall be available for examination and review by all parties and counsel. Subpoenaed writings or objects shall be received by the clerk and shall not be open for examination and review except by the parties and counsel unless otherwise directed by the court. The clerk shall adopt procedures to ensure compliance with this paragraph.

Where subpoenaed writings and objects are of such nature or content that disclosure to other parties would be unduly prejudicial, the court, upon written motion and notice to all patties, may grant such relief as it deems appropriate, including limiting disclosure, removal and copying.